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Political Trials And What Can They Tell Us About The Relationship Between Law And Politics - Essay Example

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Simply defined, a political trial is any legal proceedings held in a court of law, which addresses political issues. The use of political officials in these trials is a crucial characteristic which differentiates them from normal court proceedings…
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Political Trials And What Can They Tell Us About The Relationship Between Law And Politics
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Download file to see previous pages Sometimes, there are no political officials used in these trials. In such cases, the fact that these trials address political agendas becomes the differentiating factor (Aegis 2009, p.57). Political trials either fall in any of the four categories. This paper addresses the description of the four categories. Most of these trials fall in the partisan trial category. The partisan category is the most common of the four. The law defines the partisan trial as a trial in which criminal legal proceedings get sanctioned by a government in power with the hope of crushing any arising opposition. This helps to reinforce and consolidate this government’s power (Aristotle 2006, p.177). The officials chosen to try these cases are normally affiliates of the government. In addition, they tend to share the same ideologies with the government in question. Therefore, from these two characteristics defining these trials, it becomes rather obvious that political trials are unjust, discriminatory and biased (Stephen 2008, p. 176). Political trials are also common in totalitarian forms of governments, ruled by leaders who are dictators. These forms of government require docility from its subjects and unquestionable co-operation for it to function. Therefore, any form of disobedience noted among the subjects; be it passive or active, leads to setting up of courts by the government comprising of political officials. The government always emerges victorious in these trials because of the biased nature of the legal proceedings (Perry 1990, p.190). Karl Marx, a prominent, sociologist advances in his conflict theory that conflict results from the ruling class’ need to hold on to their power and rule over their subordinates (Christenson 1999, p.69). Marx’s theory helps to explain why a government in power sets up biased, criminal legal proceedings in the attempt to squash opposition from the subordinates. These trials instill fear through the consequences that result from the political officials’ ruling. A historical perspective provides examples of partisan trials. Adolf Hitler, Mussolini and Joseph Stalin among other dictators sanctioned many partisan trials during their reign. They used them to control their subjects (Grigsby 2011, p.77). Those found guilty received harsh, inhumane treatment. They served as examples to other subjects who wanted to oppose the existing government. Prosecution of religious and political rebels driven by their conscience and moral obligations to the cause they fight for and believe in; is another political trial. Unlike partisan trials, these trials’ main characteristic includes the trying of defendants with impartial court officials. These trails are also acutely sensitive and can either reflect negatively or positively on the government (Laughland 2008, p.256). For example, if the government publicizes the court proceedings, these rebels are likely to challenge the legitimacy of the laws they the government is accusing them of breaking, therefore, attracting a public spectacle. On the other hand, the government cannot look the other way and avoid dealing with the unlawful rebels. This is because the government’s subjects will perceive it as weak and incapable of proper leadership. Therefore, the government understands that the rebels driving force lies in their beliefs. It also considers the fact that they have many supporters making them hugely influential. Therefore, they pose a significant risk to the governments. Thus, the use of impartial court officials proves to be the best strategy the government can use. This is because it prevents future, negative public opinion which might work against ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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